Little, Brown, Jun 16 2011, $24.99
Foreign correspondent Luca Terracini knows the rules of survivability in a war zone; recently affirmed by the bombing of the chain hotels in Baghdad. He gets around the country without being imbedded due to his being an Iraqi-American and having a terrific local entourage starting with his driver Jamal. However, he has broken his prime rule of cowardice ever since his Nicola died in a suicide bombing.
Currently Luca is investigating the bank bombings with the eighteenth for the year being the Zewiya Branch of Al Rafadain Bank. His theory is these incidents are thefts on a massive scale rather than terrorism or insurgency. As Luca follows the money trail, he encounters UN representative Daniela Garner, who apparently is the expert on the bank robberies. Her appearance affirms his belief about the robberies.
At the same time in London, international banker Richard North disappears. Governments, mobsters, and financial institutions employ the best to locate him. The North incident ties back to an amazed Luca who is thrown out of Iraq by Iraqis who he believes were pressured by American authorities; apparently the west wants the missing money to remain secret.
Based on real bank robberies in Iraq, the IG report of nine billion dollars in Reconstruction money unaccounted for and a UN chief claiming drug money saved the finance industry during the recent meltdown; The Wreckage is an exhilarating financial thriller. The story line is fast-paced as the hero follows the money in which Baghdad, London and several other finance centers connect. Readers will relish this solid tale while wondering about the underlying plausibility as this cannot have happened yet facts are stranger than fiction.